From the cultivators working in the mine, Wu Qi picked eight of them as his disciples, who were all Heaven Immortals. He had them dressed in a similar fashion, a black Daoist robe, and brought them with him to the Miao Ying Palace. With the medallion given to him by Goddess Miao Xin, he was able to enter the palace without any problem. Led by a few disciples of Miao Ying Palace, he came all the way before the door of a side hall, which Lu Buwei had made as his residence.
The side hall was gruesomely lit by some green ghost flames. When Wu Qi set his foot before the door, he felt a chilly breeze caressing his face, which almost wiped out the thread of life force in his body. The Eight Heaven Immortals that followed behind him shuddered, glancing around with fear. One after another, they lowered their heads as if they were some brides who were bullied by their mother-in-law, standing gingerly behind Wu Qi and daring not to take any unnecessary steps.
With a faint smile on his face, Wu Qi called out, "Supervisor Lu, you have a guest looking for you!"
The door flung open, and Lu Buwei came walking out of the hall, his cheeks ruddy. "Aye, fellow Daoist Wu Wang, how kind of you to visit!. It's an honor to have you here!" He said with a big smile on his face, "Somebody, quickly serve us the Falling Pearls Tea which Patriarch has rewarded me not long ago!"
Lu Buwei grabbed Wu Qi's palm and brought him into the hall. Wu Qi noticed that Lu Buwei had given the eight Heaven Immortals a quick glance, and there was a look of regret and greed in his eyes. 'Now you are regretting not bringing them under your control earlier. These Heaven Immortals are mine now, and it is impossible for you to have them back!' thought Wu Qi.
The hall was spacious but rather empty, with only simple decorations. A round table with a few stools was placed in the center, and a few screens were used to separate the space into a bedroom. Those were all the things in the hall. Some figures could be vaguely seen moving behind the screens, producing a ringing of pendants knocking with each other and sending forth the body fragrance of ladies. Apparently, Lu Buwei had some beautiful ladies living in his bedroom, and it seemed there were quite a few of them.
After bringing Wu Qi to the round table and getting him to sit down on a stool, Lu Buwei laughed out loud and asked, "Did those few girls serve you well, fellow Daoist?"
Wu Qi smiled faintly and started shooting his mouth off, "They have abundant Primordial Yin energy, and their bodies are soft and delicate, truly excellent cultivation vessels. Haha, thank you for the generous gift, Supervisor Lu. Should you have more pretty girls like them in the future, just send them to my chamber."
With a licentious look on his face, he pointed at those swaying figures behind the screens and said, "I can tell that Supervisor Lu is living in a paradise here!"
Lu Buwei threw his head back and roared with laughter. "Lust is a part of men's natural temperament. Fellow Daoist, as we are men of the same line, you should spend more time with me so we can exchange our experiences." His eyes flickered when he said that, and he was observing Wu Qi's expression.
Pretending that he did not notice Lu Buwei's searching glance, Wu Qi said, "I'll certainly do that. Although I am the supervisor of the mine, I can't leave Miao Ying Palace, so it's extremely difficult for me to get myself a few decent girls. I hope Supervisor Lu can help me with this!"
Lu Buwei agreed to the request without hesitation. Wu Qi had just joined Miao Ying Palace not long ago, and although he did win over Goddess Miao Xin's favor by offering her the Fragrant Ganoderma, it could only save him from being killed and make him an outer sect disciple, since all cultivators from the Fiend League did not cherish friendship like others. In addition to that, as he did not spend any effort to curry favor with Goddess Miao Xin, so their relationship was rather weak. On the other hand, Lu Buwei was able to please Patriarch Miao Ying, and had already been given the right to enter and leave Miao Ying Palace freely. Because of that, he was more than happy to search for a few pretty girls outside of this place, using them to rope in Wu Qi.
With Lao Ai and his disciple purposely currying favor with Goddess Miao Xin, and Lord Long Yang acting as the spy planted next to King Zhang Qiu, Wu Qi was well-informed about any changes in Miao Ying Palace. Hence, he had devoted all his time and energy to flatter Lu Buwei, nurturing their relationship. Since Wu Qi knew Lu Buwei's past like the palm of his own hand, he could always say things that matched Lu Buwei's thoughts perfectly. As a result, Lu Buwei felt that he was respected, and even took Wu Qi as the friend who understood him the most.
So, on the grounds that Lu Buwei had taken the initiative to propitiate him, Wu Qi would pay him a visit every other couple of days, engaging him in talks of some fantastic stories and strange news. With the various peculiar records found in the Scroll of Stealing, he had perfectly played the role of an experienced and knowledgeable itinerant cultivator. Not only did he manage to amaze Lu Buwei with all the stories, he had drawn their relationship closer day by day.
In Lu Buwei's point of view, Wu Qi was just an ordinary itinerant cultivator of Nascent Soul realm from the Fiend League, who was lucky enough to find a Fragrant Ganoderma and offer it to Goddess Miao Xin. Lu Buwei, who had transcended his Heavenly Tribulation and attained the overall strength of a Heaven Immortal, thought that this 'Daoist Wu Wang' was controllable, a man whom he could use as a loyal subordinate. Even though he was as cunning and treacherous as a ghost, he did not think that a mere Nascent Soul Fiend cultivator could pose any threat to him.
As for the fact that Wu Qi had replaced him as the supervisor of the mine, after some careful consideration, Lu Buwei concluded that Wu Qi was just being lucky. He firmly believed that as long as he could spend more time to make contact with true Immortal cultivators, he would not fail miserably in a very easy task again.
For three months Wu Qi worked very hard to make friendly contact with Lu Buwei. As their friendship grew stronger, Wu Qi began to vaguely express his intention to submit under Lu Buwei, while Lu Buwei responded with his willingness of accepting Wu Qi in a reserved manner. Lu Buwei happily reckoned that when the time came and the conditions were ripe, Wu Qi would naturally become his loyal retinue. At that point in time, the over ten thousand cultivators who were currently controlled by Wu Qi would also become a part of his power.
By constantly visiting Lu Buwei during the last three months, Wu Qi had finally found out Patriarch Miao Ying's daily routine.
Every eighteen days, a thread of innate evil energy of pure Yin would be sprayed out of the Land of Nine Yin Negate Yang underneath the Dark Abyss. It was one of the most venomous energy under the heaven. Should an ordinary Gold Immortal have his skin smeared by it, even if it were just a little bit, his immortal body would be melted into a puddle of filthy fluid instantly; his immortal soul would be infected by the evil energy, turning into a foul spirit which had no wit and emotion, and only acted based on instinct. In the end, he would be drawn into Hell and transformed into Nether Yaksha or some other bizarre creatures in the Yellow Spring.
The eruption happened once every eighteen days, and it lasted for forty-nine days. Therefore, Patriarch Miao Ying would dive down into the Dark Abyss every eighteen days, using the innate evil energy to craft her fiend treasures. And, because she had to concentrate her whole energy in the crafting, whenever she returned to Miao Ying Palace for a rest after forty-nine days, she would have to rely on some external forces to replenish her energy.
The fiend cultivation technique practiced by Patriarch Miao Ying was wicked and bizarre, and the way she used to quickly replenish her energy was by harvesting the energy from boys with Seven Killing Entering their Life Palace. With just seven of them, she could fully restore her energy within eighteen days.
Lu Buwei even told Wu Qi that he once had an opportunity to wait in the chamber while Patriarch Miao Ying was exercising her cultivation technique to restore her energy, and with his own eyes he saw how she harvested the energy from those boys. He gave Wu Qi a lively description, using that to show off his position in Patriarch Miao Ying's heart– since he was allowed to wait in the chamber and witness how Patriarch Miao Ying fought on a bed with those boys, it was certain that he was her trusted subordinate.
Lu Buwei had the intention of using this to convince Wu Qi, overawing Wu Qi with his identity as Patriarch Miao Ying's trusted subordinate, so that Wu Qi would submit under him with greater willingness and eventually gain control over the ten thousand cultivators. And sure enough, Wu Qi had shown the sign of total submission after listening to those secrets.
On one side, Wu Qi had the intention of buttering up Lu Buwei, and on the other side, Lu Buwei was purposely showing off his close relationship with Patriarch Miao Ying. Both men chimed in quickly and easily, and their relationship became warm in no time. Through Lu Buwei, and coupled with some information which Lord Long Yang obtained from King Zhang Qiu, Wu Qi had gradually analyzed some of Patriarch Miao Ying's secrets, and sent them back to Su Qin via the puppet in An He City.
Lu Buwei was only aware that Patriarch Miao Ying would spend eighteen days resting, before going back into Dark Abyss to craft her magical treasure for another forty-nine days. But, the information obtained from Lord Long Yang was in greater detail. Patriarch Miao Ying could not move when she was crafting her magical treasure, as any slight movement would bring her the risk of energy deviation. Therefore, she had sealed off the entrance to the Dark Abyss with extremely powerful fiend formations, and even had a set of wicked fiend treasures placed next to her at all time, serving as the weapon to defend herself.
Also, the reason why King Zhang Qiu came to Miao Ying Palace was that the crafting was approaching a critical point in recent days, and he had brought a batch of his elite subordinates here on purpose to protect Patriarch Miao Ying.
If it were in the past, when she was crafting the fiend treasure, Patriarch Miao Ying could still divert a small part of her willpower to control other fiend treasures and formations, using them to protect herself. However, as the critical point was approaching, she could no longer divert her attention to do other things. On the surface, King Zhang Qiu had brought a dozen of guards here, but in fact, he had deployed an army near the Northern Ocean, hiding them in the depth of some random lakes, ready to reinforce at any time.
Wu Qi had sent all the intelligence back to An He City, allowing Su Qin to analyze and put them to a good use.
As the days went by, the friendship between Wu Qi and Lu Buwei was getting better.
Patriarch Miao Ying was crafting her fiend treasure wholeheartedly, paying no heed to other matters. Goddess Miao Xin had been beguiled by Lao Ai, and basically, she was nowhere to be found in Miao Ying Palace. King Zhang Qiu was just a guest, so he simply dwelt in deep seclusion. He rarely came out and poked his nose in any matters. As a result, Lu Buwei and Wu Qi, two supervisors who were only Miao Ying Palace's outer sect disciples, had virtually become the men who were in charge of the daily business in Miao Ying Palace.
Those official disciples of Miao Ying Palace were obeying their sect rules reverently; they just carried out the duty they had been assigned and did not mind about others. After winning Lu Buwei's trust, Wu Qi was able to leave Northern Ocean from time to time, traveling about the region while taking the opportunity to deploy some traps, which were not eye-catching but deadly.
Time passed on. On the third day after Patriarch Miao Ying entered the Dark Abyss again to craft her fiend treasure, the celestial fiend puppet in An He City brought Wu Qi a piece of news – Reverend Li Yang had arrived in Greenwood Mountain, bringing with him six Elders of Gold Immortal realm and nearly one hundred disciples of Heaven Immortal realm!
Wu Qi went into action immediately.